[November 21, 2022] On April 9th, 1940, the German military machine invaded Denmark. I enjoy watching movies about war for many reasons but subtitled films of any kind are not on my watch list. A Danish war movie, April 9th (2015), is a war film that depicts the invasion. It follows a Danish bicycle Infantry unit sent as a vanguard to slow down the German advance until reinforcements arrive.
Here are some of my thoughts about April 9th that can be watched in its entirety on YouTube for free (YouTube link here, 1:28:55 minutes). I am highly recommending it.
The plot pits a small light (bicycle) unit of about 400 soldiers against a German panzer (tank) regiment. For those familiar with military events, imagine David going up against Goliath, but David will not win the engagement in this case.
One of the reasons I liked the movie was the realism and attention to technical details in the uniforms and equipment, like the exact bicycles, helmets, guns (bolt-action rifles), and anti-tank guns used at the time. Old photos from the time were used to help set the movie setting; great move to create a scale of realism.
You can hear the tension in the air as these soldiers prepare their battle positions and await the advancing Germans. Discussions are held with more experienced soldiers about how to position themselves correctly. And we see them telling civilians to get off the streets. These are good tactics. Surprisingly, however, there are no scouts sent forward.
The battle begins with the occasional small-arms fire. It is not long before the full battle is on. Lots of movement in the town they are defending. The director does a fantastic job of filming the action, a problem area so many filmmakers struggle with. Unsurprisingly, the fight is over quickly, and the Germans take control of the town.
If you get a chance, watch it. I enjoyed the action.
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